Dec 7, 2007

New stem cell in treatment of sickle cell anemia

A breakthrough in stem cell research! Using a new type of stem cells made from ordinary skin cells, U.S. researchers has treated mice with sickle cell anemia. This proves that such cells could be used as a therapy.

U.S. and Japanese researchers last month reported they had reprogrammed human skin cells into behaving like embryonic stem cells, the body's master cells. They call the cells induced pluripotent stem cells, or iPS cells for short.

"This is the first evaluation of these cells for therapy," said Dr. Jacob Hanna, who worked on the study. "The field has been working for years on strategies to generate customized stem cells," he added.

A team at the Whitehead Institute of Biomedical Research in Cambridge, Massachusetts, has now used the new cells to treat mice engineered to have sickle cell anemia, a disease of the blood caused by a defect in a single gene. Link


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